(AM-94: dp. 275; l. 173'8"; b. 23'; dr. 7'7"; s. 18 k.; cpl. 85; a. 1 3"; cl. Adroit)
The first Excel (AM-94) was launched 10 May 1942 by Jakobson .Shipyard, Inc., Oyster Bay, Long Island, N.Y.; sponsored by Mrs. I. D. Jakobson; and commissioned 10 December 1942, Lieutenant Commander M. L. Whitford, USNR, in command. She was reclassified PC-1598 1 June 1944.
Excel arrived at Norfolk, Va., 21 January 1943 for minesweeping exercises in the Virginia Capes, then sailed to Portland, Maine, where she based for patrol and minesweeping duty from 15 March 1943 to 3 February 1944. She was reclassified PC-1598 on 1 June. Returning to Norfolk, she had local patrol, sweeping, and training duty until 9 June, when she sailed for San Diego and Pearl Harbor, arriving 1 August.
After serving as escort on a voyage to Eniwetok, Excel departed Pearl Harbor 14 October 1944 to escort a convoy of LSTs by way of Eniwetok and Guam to Ulithi. Here a new convoy of landing craft was assembled, and with it Excel arrived at Hollandia, New Guinea, 16 November. For the next 2 months, she escorted convoys among the ports of New Guinea, aiding in the assembling of shipping for the Lingayen assault. She left Hollandia 10 January 1945 on escort duty for San Pedro Bay, Leyte, and on 9 February, arrived at Ulithi, where she joined in exercises, and transported men from place to place in the vast fleet anchorage.
In company with six other minecraft, Excel sailed Ulithi 19 March 1945 to sweep mines off Okinawa, clearing the way for both preinvasion bombardment and the assault landings of 1 April. She carried out her hazardous mission successfully, destroying many enemy mines, and sailed from the island 5 April for a repair period at Guam. Excel gave patrol and escort services in the Marianas, and on 3 July she rescued a downed aviator. After voyaging to Okinawa in the escort for a large convoy between 8 and 21 July, she returned to duty in the Marianas. On 5 August, she made rendezvous off Saipan with Shad (SS-235) to take off one of the submarine officers, severely ill.
Excel operated out of Saipan until 17 October 1945, when she sailed for San Francisco, where she was decommissioned 22 January 1946.